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Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Five: Legitimate Questions, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Needle's Eye, Chapter Twenty-Five: Legitimate Questions, pt. 1
Teddy is rather suddenly subpoenaed to London to testify in Cresswell's trial. Hermione, who is prosecuting, doesn't have much time to prep him (she'd expected she'd have until the weekend, but several witnesses' testimony was stipulated by the defense, probably in an attempt to throw off any plans she had for prepping other witnesses), but she warns him that Sam's been grandstanding, and is likely to bring up Greyback. She conducts the questioning first and Teddy is horrified that he has to reveal the nasty note that Sam left Ruthless, but otherwise, it goes well--it's just reciting what he's had to do with the case so far. As we left him, Sam--who's been shunting aside his advocate in order to argue his own case--stands up, smiling.

I realized that I had Hermione refer to Sam's advocate as a woman, but depicted said advocate as a thin, sallow man--I've gone back and changed that to "woman."


Table of Contents and Summary So Far




"Good morning, Mr. Lupin," Sam Cresswell said. "Glad you could make it."

Teddy didn't answer.

Sam had apparently expected this, as he didn't press for answer. "You must be getting used to this room, having had an inquiry about illegal magic use here only two weeks ago. But of course, there was no real consequence to that. Not for the likes of you, at any rate."

"There was a perfectly legal fine," Teddy said. "Did you plan to ask a question?"

"We have a lot in common, you and I," Sam told him. "Both of our families ruined in the war, both of us with fathers whose lives were destroyed by Death Eaters long before being killed by them. My father was destroyed by Runcorn. Turned him over to higher ranking Death Eaters. Please remind the Wizengamot who ruined your father."

"My father wasn't ruined."

Sam laughed. "Ah. Of course. He had a delightful life. Why was he unable to find and keep jobs?"

"I object," Hermione said. "For heaven's sake, what on Earth has that to do with anything?"

Sam turned to the Minister. "I'll connect the dots."

Kingsley ground his teeth and said, "Do so quickly, Mr. Cresswell."

Sam nodded. "Very well. Mr. Lupin, explain what condition made it difficult for your father to keep a job."

"He was a werewolf," Teddy said, grudgingly.

"And who made him a werewolf?"

"You know who did."

"Humor me."

"Fenrir Greyback."

"And where is Fenrir Greyback now?"

"He's dead."

Sam nodded. "Yes. Do you believe in hell, Lupin?"

"Yes."

"So do I. And you did a marvelous job sending Greyback there. We'd been chasing him for most of the year, but you dispatched him in a night. Good show."

"Greyback was an immediate threat," Teddy said.

"Yes, but tell me... did it feel good to kill him? Were you angry? Did you give him a chance to escape?"

"It was a fight," Teddy told him tightly.

"I read the report. There was quite a huge gap in it--the part that explained exactly how he died."

"It wasn't missing. I've seen it. I took him behind a fireplace, where we fought. He went back through without activating the Floo, and was killed."

"And what happened before that? What did you say? What did you do?"

"That's quite enough," Kingsley said. "Unless you have something pertinent to your own case, Mr. Cresswell, I suggest you move on from this topic."

"It's all pertinent to my case, Minister Shacklebolt. After all, Lupin and I both got our revenge on the men who ruined our fathers. I want the members to hear why we did it. The reasons are the same. And yet, Lupin is free to come here and testify."

"That's absurd," Hermione said, rising. "Minister, I move that this be stricken from the record. Fenrir Greyback was strong, gathering followers, and had already killed several people in the course of his escape. He was determined to kill or turn Mr. Lupin. There is no comparison to be made to the cold-blooded slaughter of an elderly man who had already served his full sentence in Azkaban."

"The full sentence wasn't enough!" Sam cried. "He was free again. My father was dead, and Runcorn was free. Tell me, Lupin, how was that fair?"

"It wasn't," Teddy said. "There was nothing fair about it."

Sam blinked, apparently somewhat surprised by this answer. "So you agree."

"That your father shouldn't have died? Or been turned in? Of course I agree. My grandfather shouldn't have been murdered the same night. But I didn't go around looking for people to kill to make up for it, and even if I had, it wouldn't make it fair. Nothing's going to make it fair or right. Particularly chopping an old man up and hanging him by his ankles across Knockturn Alley. That's just going to make it worse. You've ruined your father for a second time by saying you're doing it in his name."

Sam grimaced, then waved his hand and said, "I have no further questions." He sat down.

Hermione said, "I have no further questions."

"Very well," Kingsley said. "Mr. Lupin, you are released. You may remain in the gallery, should you choose to do so."

Teddy nodded, and let a bailiff lead him to a seat, while another announced that the Wizengamot now called Miss Ruth Scrimgeour. The door opened, and Ruthless was led in. She looked paler and more subdued than usual. While she was sworn in, Teddy looked at Sam, who was rather expressionless, then at his guards and his advocate. All three were witches. He hadn't paid much attention to this before--it wasn't unusual--but now, something tried to make a connection in his mind. It missed. But he did note that the advocate was staring rather moonily at Sam, which might explain why she was letting him do as he pleased.

Hermione questioned Ruth first, focusing on the early investigation of the murders, and Sam's behavior as an Auror. Finally, she said, "Miss Scrimgeour, you were Mr. Cresswell's alibi. You gave statements that he was with you on the occasion of the second murder. Please explain to this body why you gave that statement."

"It was what I remembered," Ruthless said. "As it turns out, Sam knew a bit more Herbology than we were aware of. Mallowsweet creates false memories, based on something that's been suggested. My flat was filled with it." She stood up, squaring her shoulders, and said, "It was all through my sheets. The bastard gave me an idea of what I'd remember, and I remembered it well enough to give him his alibi."

"Very well, thank you, Miss Scrimgeour," Hermione said.

Sam rose. "Hello, Ruthie," he said. "You look good enough to eat, and I remember how good you taste."

"Sod off."

"Mr. Cresswell," Kingsley said, "you will remember where you are. This is not neither a pub nor a Quidditch locker room. You will treat Miss Scrimgeour with respect."

"I always give Ruth what she wants," he said. "Don't I, Ruthie?"

Ruthless pressed her lips together, then looked up to where Teddy was sitting. He gave her an encouraging smile, and she said, "I want to get this over with before my hair turns gray," she told Sam. "Go on--we both know you can be a lot quicker."

"Miss Scrimgeour," Kingsley said, "I give you the same advice."

"Sorry."

Sam waited for a slight titter in the gallery to fade away, then said, with exaggerated formality, "Miss Scrimgeour, did you or did you not tell me, in the wake of Runcorn's murder"--he made a show of pulling out a scroll--"'Looks like someone took out our rubbish for us'?"

"That was just--"

"It's a yes or no question."

Ruthless glared at him, then said, "Yes."

"Why would you say such a thing?"

"It was... I was... Oh, all right, Runcorn was a piece of rubbish. That didn't stop me from wanting to find out who murdered him. Even rubbish oughtn't be tortured and mutilated."

"How pious of you," Sam said dryly. "Do you remember a case we worked on--it was your first--involving a wizard called Thaddeus Kenyon?"

"Yes."

"Explain the case to the Wizengamot."

Ruthless looked confused. "He was using a potion to drug witches, then taking advantage of them."

"How old was Mr. Kenyon?"

"Seventy, I think."

"Before we caught him, what exactly did you wish you could do?"

"Catch him."

"The exact words."

"I don't remember."

"I do. And I can call Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter to verify it. You said, 'I'd like to string the bastard up by his balls.'"

Ruthless didn't answer.

Sam tilted his head theatrically, then said, "Now, Ruthie, wouldn't that be torturing and mutilating an elderly man, just because he was rubbish?"

"I didn't do it!"

"Failure to execute a plan doesn't make the plan any different."

Kingsley wearily raised his gavel again, let it fall with a thump, and said, "Your point, Mr. Cresswell?"

"As you wish, Minister. We heard of the vengeance taken by Mr. Lupin, and now we hear Miss Scrimgeour wishing bloody reprisals of her own. I'd wager everyone in this room could tell a similar story. The only difference between them and myself is that I followed through."

"A fairly large difference in a criminal trial," Hermione said, not even getting up. She looked at him with an expression of extreme disdain. "Do you have any real questions for this witness, or were you just going to waste her time?"

"Oh," Sam said, "I have quite a lot for the little..." He stopped, and said, "Witness."

"I think not," Kingsley said. "Miss Scrimgeour, you are excused with the Wizengamot's apologies, unless Mr. Cresswell's advocate has a legitimate question."

The advocate said, "I think Miss Scrimgeour has done all she really can."

"Very well. You're free to go. Mrs. Weasley, is your next witness ready?"

"I had him brought from school during early testimony," Hermione said, as Ruthless slipped out.

Teddy didn't pay attention to what she was saying. He followed Ruthless out into the corridor opposite the antechamber where they'd come in.
25 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
gypsy_thief From: gypsy_thief Date: October 25th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
"How pious of you," Sam said dryly. "Do you a case we worked on--it was your first--involving a wizard called Thaddeus Kenyon?"

I think you forgot "remember."

Really nice work. It's pretty pathetic how Sam's defense is "everyone gets angry sometimes."

Arg! Please don't tell me the lady guards are going to help him escape. Ladies, you don't need a man like that to make you special.

And the next witness is...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 25th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think you forgot "remember."

I don't know what you mean. :whistles innocently:

Sam's defense is the oh-so-sophisticated, "Aw, come on, you know you all wanted to."
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: October 25th, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thaddeus Kenyon? If you're pulling names off your family tree we really need to dig through our presumed not mutual family trees some more!!!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 25th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, no, Thaddeus came from The Dark Half, which is sitting on my desk from a few days ago, and Kenyon is one of the authors of the Character Naming Sourcebook, which I keep handy when I need a quick name, though I think she probably wasn't thinking that was how I was going to use it for a name!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: October 25th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Isn't what he did to Ruth a crime, too? I mean, he dosed his girlfriend to create false memories and who knows what else, surely that alone is a criminal offense?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 25th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it is. (In fact, nearly everything he did to Ruth is at least on the border of criminal, though he might away with the psychological trickery he used.)
a_blue_jay From: a_blue_jay Date: October 26th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
But it would be harder to prove, at least without raking all of the nasty details before the entire world, which I have a feeling Ruthless wouldn't like.
Sticking to the straightforward murder charges seems like a better plan.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 25th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad Teddy kept his cool. Sam continues to be a sociopathic creep, though I wonder if Teddy's charge that he's ruining his father a second time by killing in his name made any sort of impression. Triple eww on the smitten trio of witches--especially the advocate. Those kind of groupies make me embarrassed for women everywhere.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: October 25th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh god, I somehow missed that paragraph. That... well, that doesn't bode well at all.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 25th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teddy has inherited Remus's ability to hit hard on the guilt place, and Sam was discomfited for a moment, but he probably won't give it brain space until later--if then.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: October 25th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm relieved that Teddy's experience at the trial wasn't worse. Poor Ruthless, though. What a cad to remember as one's first adult boyfriend.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 26th, 2010 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's not going to do great things for her self-esteem.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 25th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brought out of school? Who else has to testify? Donzo?

Courtney
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 25th, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maurice's little brother, Wendell.
a_blue_jay From: a_blue_jay Date: October 26th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)
wasn't there something about Maurice not letting them make him testify?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 26th, 2010 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Donzo, yes. No great mystery; someone just reminded me that he should have been gathered as well.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 26th, 2010 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I keep wanting to fight Sam in courtroom terms. I'm mentally filing objections to make and so on (years of watching Perry Mason has to pay off sometime).

Technically, I know that isn't what this story's about. While it's important within the world of the story that Sam be tried and found guilty, in the story itself the issue is about winning over hearts and minds of people to one side or the other in this argument.

But, just for the heck of it, I'd like to give Sam the scenario of, "But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

"He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

"And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

"Whether of them twain did the will of his father?"

Might there, then, be an arguable difference between words and actions? Between a person who talks about disobeying the law but chooses to uphold it and one who lies, swears to uphold the law, then does whatever he darn well pleases no matter how repulsive?

Sorry. I know you want Same to make us mad. It's just working really, really well.

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 26th, 2010 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I think St. Matthew might be a bit beyond Sam's moral reach. He may well see himself as truly upholding some sort of law he alone sees, at this point.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: October 26th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Ugh Sam is SO CREEPY. Though, Ruth, I love you. I don't see how he even got away with asking those questions in a criminal trial without immediately being shot down. UGH. (I'm re reading DH and whenever Cresswell the elder comes up I tend to go- YOUR SON'S A MURDERER.)

*Yep. :)*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 26th, 2010 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
He gets away with way more than he actually would in court, because, well... it's a story. And I can blame it on lax court procedures in the wizarding world. ;p
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: October 26th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
That works. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 26th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Finally all caught up again - having no internet access is such a pain.
And now what will I do? Those female guards and moony looks sound ominous - waiting until I can get at my brother's computer again will be horrible!

~Hermione Stranger~
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 27th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)

first things first- if after all of this...

first off, Sam Cresswell is absolute scum. i hope his punishment is slow and painful.

little blackmailing, manipulated devil pawn....

also, I hope Ruth testimony wakes up Sam's "advocates" of their "swooning"....

otherwise, they are REALLY Absolutely MENTAL

starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 27th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)

ALSO....

if the next person who is asked questions is either maurice or wendell....
I sure hope it's left VERY Clear that Sam Cresswell Murdered someone's PARENTS Who were INNOCENT and did nothing wrong and did not deserved to be tortured like they did....

let's see how:

A. Cresswell "fanclub" fail to find an excuse for That one...

B. Cresswell "excuses/ saying "but everyone did it too" thing totally and irevocably FAILS because NO ONE ELSE Murdered Someone else's INNOCENT Parents....

Cresswell you're so going to get it.

tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: October 27th, 2010 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Good for Hermione - Cresswell makes me feel like I need a shower (which is a compliment to your writing!)
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